Boeuf Bourguignon

Ok, so I blogged months ago when I tried my first French recipe, coq au vin. In that post I promised (or maybe just said that I would) blog about making boeuf bourguignon. Well, I made boeuf bourguignon, and now I’m going to blog about it.

It has been a few months since I got together with a really good friend of mine and we decided to undertake this seemingly simple French dish. (Since then, I have come to learn that nothing French, at least not for Julia Child, is simple.) So, I will talk about my main memories. First of all, this is the same friend with whom I made the coq au vin. We get together every few months and splurge on a large, more expensive and rather difficult recipe just because we love food. It is a tradition that I thoroughly enjoy. Secondly, we always seem to have a conversation about how that tradition reminds us of playing “house” as little girls, only now it’s real. What fun!

All I remember about the dish was that it was delicious, of course, but I was a little disappointed that we used a pinot noir again, so the flavors were very similar to the coq au vin. I wasn’t as impressed this time around. I definitely want to repeat the dish with a different burgundy.

It took a REALLY long time to make, but that was expected.

I also remember that my boyfriend ate the mushrooms. He hates mushrooms! I remember using a triple variety of wild mushrooms, but I don’t remember what specifically.

Now, more of my memories come from what I remember of the company that night. My friend’s father was in town and is a foodie himself. He was able to come to dinner and brought two extra bottles of great Chilean wine. It was good to see my friend and her father interact and spend some much needed time together.

I remember the conversations about playing “house.”

I remember falling in love with the port that my friend had brought to pair with the chocolate mousse we had for dessert.

I remember the great conversation had that evening as we waited for the meat to tenderize in the oven.

Thinking back on it now, I’m glad that I didn’t blog about this sooner. I probably would have spent a page talking about how great the flavors were, but how disappointed I was at the similarity to the coq au vin. I may have talked about the wine, but ultimately it would have been lack-luster. Not that my writing is spectacular now, but I’ve come to realize something. Most of what I love about food is not the flavor, but the experience. Of course, good food is good, but ultimately, if we ate the best dish of our lives alone at home, it wouldn’t mean the same thing in a month. We may not even remember in a year. However, when we make an adventure out of it. When we combine great food with great friends, laughter, story-telling, people we love. etc., it becomes an experience upon which we build memories. This is not a new discovery per-say, but it’s a good reminder.

Re: Boeuf Bourguignon

Well said. I couldn’t agree more with your conclusion. The company and the experience are what make good food great.